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  1. J

    D&D 5E What are good ways to create cover?

    Creative use of spells for cover is fun...I'll broaden to environmental stuff: -mundane environmental stuff that many overlook: underbrush, stumps, boulders, trees, fences/walls -overturn some furniture -attack from a rooftop or balcony where opponents on the ground can't get line of sight...
  2. J

    D&D 5E Tumbling through the Planes: Locations Needed

    Here's a description of a city in the Elemental Chaos (4e) called Gloamnull. Gloamnull is a city that sits impossibly perched on a thin spire of rock. It looks more like a large floating castle tethered to the top of a skinny mountain. A thin mist surrounds the entire region and rain falls...
  3. J

    D&D 5E Teachers who DM

    High school teacher. So many transferable skills AND lots of time off in the summer;)
  4. J

    D&D 5E How OLD are YOU

    Just turned 45. Started playing AD&D in 1983 at age 12, got away from it in HS and returned to D&D via Baldur's Gate video game in the early 2000s. I play occasional tabletop campaigns and run 2 pbp games (same campaign for over 2.5 years!).
  5. J

    D&D 5E So...Skill Challenges

    I use the rules set by the DM in the Major Spoilers Critical Hit podcast (4e). I use these rules in my 5e game. The basic format: 1. Players act in initiative order; 2. On their turn, players describe their use of a skill that helps the group reach the stated goal of the challenge and make a...
  6. J

    D&D 5E Solving the problem of initiative.

    I use a 'ready-go' system in my PbP game (which I would not use in a table-top game). PbP games can be excruciatingly slow, so I try to keep things moving with this init count/post when ready hybrid: DM rolls initiative for all characters and enemies (by type, so the 4 skeletons act on the same...
  7. J

    D&D 5E Low CRs and "Boring" Monsters: Ogre

    I almost always give my monsters some kind of special ability (like the excellent suggestions above) or a feat. Heck, use 4e special abilities and convert them to suit 5e. I like that the monsters are baseline versions. I can power up/down, mix and match monsters in an encounter (like the...
  8. J

    D&D 5E Starting a new 5e campaign... TOMORROW!

    Sounds awesome, there's nothing like the energy and excitement of laying out a game world for your players and watching things unfold. You mentioned you're a teacher (so am I) and I think teachers (and coaches) tend to make good DMs because just as in the classroom, you're trying to keep people...
  9. J

    D&D 5E Vs the Horde (combat mechanics)

    I’ve been looking at ways to handle swarms/hordes/mass combat. The standard combat rules don’t work too well for this purpose, and there are no minions to slice through like in 4th edition. So I devised a system that I think represents what it would be like for a hero to slash (or blast) their...
  10. J

    D&D 4E Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters

    That. And give monsters feats (especially bosses/solos). They don't really alter the math as much as put a wrinkle in what a monster can do. A feat will make the monster a bit more dangerous, sure, but nothing that suddenly unbalances the encounter. And familiar feats are easy to keep track...
  11. J

    Storm King's Thunder

    5 out of 5 rating for Storm King's Thunder I strongly disagree with many points mentioned in the 'poor' reviews. The adventure is definitely more of a sandbox than adventure path, giving the DM a lot of province. It may not be the best place to start for a new DM, but boy does it give you a...